A young Mishawaka chef hopes to break from the pack of other area restaurants serving brunch and burgers.
Owner and executive chef Jared Heath opened The Wolf’s Den Monday, Feb. 9. The restaurant is burrowed in the building at 114 Lincolnway East that was once home to Spooners, Waka Dog and most recently Jay’s Table, across the street from Treehouse Shinebar.
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Originally from Hobart, Ind., 23-year-old Heath is a 2012 graduate of Johnson & Wales University’s culinary program in Providence, R.I. Time spent visiting his brother, a former student at Bethel College, introduced Heath to the Mishawaka area.
The restaurant is named after Heath’s father, Dale “Wolf” Heath, who is an avid outdoorsman and earned the nickname hunting for wolf pelts.
Health’s vision for the Den includes new interpretations of classic breakfast and lunch items, most averaging between $8 and $12 per entree.
The Wolf’s Den
114 Lincolnway East
Hours:6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Ricotta and mascarpone-stuffed figs with orange and raspberry jam, truffle-tossed fries and tempura-battered squash blossoms comprise a few of the appetizers offered at lunch.
Heath also prepares five varieties of grilled pizzas and is able to substitute meats to suit vegetarian visitors.
Hand-patted burgers come in half-pound portions. The Fireball features serrano peppers, pepper jack cheese, fried onion strings, lettuce and tomato. A Bacon Cheddar Twist piles bacon, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and a fried egg on top of an 8-oz. piece of beef.
His experience with Italian cuisine inspired one of his favorite breakfast items.
The Wolf’s Den serves zeppoles, which are Italian doughnuts filled with vanilla cream, whipped cream or fig jam and served with a light custard called crème anglaise. Other sweets include both banana cream and chocolate ganache crepes, stuffed French toast and Belgian waffles.
The restaurant also serves a 10-oz. bone-in pork chop that arrives on a bed of home fries and is topped with pineapple salsa and a fried egg.
Heath’s father says cooking has always been the 23-year-old’s passion.
“He always said, ‘I want to cook,’ and by George, he’s cooking,” the elder Heath said.
Jared, one of the youngest restaurant owners in the area, is optimistic about the restaurant’s future.
“Just give us a try, and I think most people will like us,” he said.